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May 2009 - Celebrating Eritrea's 18th Independence Day
 

 

Asmara Eritrea - June 5 2009

 

My three weeks visit to Eritrea comes to an end. I will say goodbye to family and friends, collect the last stuff from the tailor, and buy more souvenirs.

In Edaga Arbi I find a shop where they sell good quality wood carved coffee tables with the accessory burner for a reasonable price. With a taxi I bring the souvenirs to our house where my wife will pack it for tomorrows flight to Amsterdam.

Back in the center of Asmara, I spend the rest of the morning visiting family and friends. One of them has bought three large woven baskets for our kids. They may be to to big for my suitcase, but I donít dare to refuse them. I collect my cloth at the tailor shop, and return to our Sembel apartment a second time, so my wife can add the gifts to my luggage.

After lunch I continue my tour through Asmara. Efrem brings me another set of telephone cards he grabbed from the payphones on the streets of Asmara for collectors in the Netherlands. I will sell them on Marktplaats, the Dutch equivalent of Ebay, so he will earn some money, and the collectors will be happy. I wonder what he will do for a living when I am back in the Netherlands.

I tend to say that this is a day that nothing special happens, but I guess I am a bit spoiled after so many visits to Eritrea. A day with two invitations for a coffee ceremony, invitations to have lunch, many heart-warming handshakes, new friends like every day, and hundreds of enchanting smiles is the common practice one will experience when visiting this country.

Every visitor is treated with love, respect and honor, even if you are a complete stranger. No cheating, no theft. Maybe an appeal for some help, your pen, or a Nakfa for candy, but never threatening.

The thirty years struggle for independence from Ethiopia (which was the longest war of liberation ever known to history) with immeasurable suffering, resulted in a remarkable lifestyle, characterized by courage, honesty and hospitality, where the will to help the tourist, and share tea or food with the guest is a pleasure and an honor. The Eritreans will always make you feel welcome and not one day is boring.

  

Embelta players at the wedding of Berhe and Lemlem - Asmara Eritrea.

Modern Kia taxi's lined up - 176-1 Street Asmara Eritrea.

Modern Kia taxi - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Modern Kia taxi - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Haile and Negisti - Asmara Eritrea.

Haile and Negisti - Asmara Eritrea.

City Center Pension - Asmara Eritrea.

City Center Pension - Asmara Eritrea.

Tailor shop - Asmara Eritrea.

Tailor shop - Asmara Eritrea.

Corea Housing Complex - Asmara Eritrea.

Corea Housing Complex - Asmara Eritrea.

Former Via Martini (now 175-11 street) - Asmara Eritrea.

Former Via Martini (now 175-11 street) - Asmara Eritrea.

Ambassador Hotel - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Ambassador Hotel - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Bar Impero - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Bar Impero - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Piccadilly Bar and Dancing entrance  - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Piccadilly Bar and Dancing entrance  - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Town Hall - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Town Hall - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Denden Sport Club Bar - Asmara Eritrea.

Denden Sport Club Bar - Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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